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Outlook for nurses in Arizona

Posted at 8:44 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-29 22:44:00-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Hospitals are getting busier with flu season and the rapid rising cases of coronavirus. The Arizona Nurses Association says nurses are feeling overwhelmed.

“It's scary because, you know, we already had a huge percentage of our workforce that was over the age of 55 that was getting ready to retire when this hit. So, some of them have extended their retirement. Some have even come out of retirement to help. For us it's concerning of what the future looks like for the sustainability of the workforce,” said Dawna Cato, the CEO of the Arizona Nurses Association.

And recruitment is difficult right now. Cato says nurses are not getting the experiences they typically get, since clinic practice hours have decreased within the academic preparation.

“Those nurses that don't really have the confidence and competence to enter into the practice arena, if they haven't gotten those clinical hours of that exposure that they would normally get to be able to practice or transition into into this role. So there is some concerns with the rising acuity,” said Cato.

As more and more people are in the hospital, Cato says they need to start figuring out how health care providers are going to have the capacity to care for everyone. However, it’s a concern she says she is sure they will overcome.

“All I can say is, I am so proud to be a nurse right now because the resiliency, the grit, the determination that these nurses have to get up, go to work every day knowing what they're going to face as far as the stressors,” said Cato.